USS Pioneer NCC - 74757


Docked at Starbase Sirius
Speed: Docked
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

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Posted on Sat Jul 13th, 2019 @ 4:20pm by Captain Cornelius Tremble & Camille Petrovich
Edited on on Sun Jul 14th, 2019 @ 6:51pm

Mission: Episode 7 - Home Again
Location: Zulu's Bar
Timeline: MD007 1600 hrs
2443 words - 5 OF Standard Post Measure

Camille sat gazing at her reflection in the mirror of the dressing table as she considered her performance later that day. Her mind started wandering. As was the norm, her mind wandered right over to thoughts of Neil and after a few beats she caught herself staring into the mirror, fingers twisting in her loose, dark hair and she stopped short.

What was the matter with her?

She’d woken up half mortified that morning after a dream about Neil and reviewing her meeting with Counselor Ovaa in her head.

The combination did not leave her with an easy feeling and she felt a stab of anxiety again over the whole affair.

Affair? She couldn’t even call it that. They were both consenting adults and had both consented to spending a wonderful, albeit very brief time together.

And then she’d somehow talked herself into chasing across space after him, like some lovesick teenager.

She was mulling that over when the comm’s sounded and she touched a control on the table. Her image disappeared to show her that of her manager.

“Camille,” the Ferengi said with a broad, toothy smile at her, causing her to automatically gather her dressing gown about herself and cross her arms over her breasts defensively while glaring at the leering little man. “My eyes are up here, Sporak. I’ll only tell you so many more times.”

The Ferngi took on a hurt look, saying “Camille. If I wanted to look into your beautiful eyes, I’d be looking at those!”

The dark haired woman eyed him, then said “By the way, Sporak, did you happen to hear what Lieutenant Tremble did to his own crew mate? He nearly took her eyes out with just his thumbs. Imagine what he’d do to a little sput like you?”

The Ferrengi’s eyes snapped up to her’s then and he looked a bit concerned. “That was HIM?”

“Thumbs and all,”…she smiled at him sweetly.

The manager’s hands came up in contrition and he said, “No need to say anything to him. I will keep your words close to my heart,” his hands moving to fold over his chest.

“Why are you calling, other than to oggle me?” she asked.

“I have an offer!,” he said triumphantly. “You don’t need to continue with this cultural exchange nonsense. That are of space is becoming very unstable politically and no one would blame you. I have a very attractive offer from the Shadasataryn. They’d be most welcome to have you come perform for an a period of at least three months, with options for six more if both parties were agreeable.”

“And what’s the offer, Sporak. Don’t make me drag it out or I’ll impose the pain in my behind clause in our contract and dock you fifteen percent” She said, her brow furrowing again.

“I was getting to that,” Sporak sputtered, “A bar of latinum per month, plus travel expenses there, first class of course!” She considered that and didn’t bother asking him if it were more. She would find out anyway and if he tried to cheat her again, he’d pay the fine.

“I still want to be here,” she told him firmly.

“You still want that Marine to…” he started and she cut him off with a waive. “My business. You’re being compensated.”

He huffed and her Comm chirped again. She touched another control and the screen split, showing Neil’s face. He was wearing a beret and uniform as usual.

And her heart started beating faster. As usual

“Please hold Neil,” she told him. She rapidly paused that side of the screen and told Sporak, “I have another call. Turn down that offer.”

The Ferengi started to protest but she cut him off. Then she rearranged herself, her hair and her dressing gown as her dance instructor had once told her. She quickly checked her image, took a quick rub at her teeth with the sleeve of her silk gown and then made sure the gown showed some of her curves and put a smile on her face before touching the table’s controls.

“Sorry,” she said, “I needed to get rid of my manager. How are you?”

“I’ve good Cami,” Neil said, his eyes roaming over her for a moment before meeting her eyes. “I think we should talk though. Are you busy?”

“Oh,” she said, thinking. “Not for hours. Would you like to come up to my rooms or meet someplace?”

Neil considered that and she realized he was somewhere on the Promenade. His eyes dropped briefly to her nearly open dressing gown, then up pointedly and said, “Oh, I think someplace a bit more private and public is for the best, Camille. Do you know anyplace?”

“My manager would suggest Zulg’s bar, and I think I can get a private booth,” she said, blushing prettily as his eyes roamed over her.

“The Ferengi place,” Neil asked doubtfully, “Ok, I know where that’s at. Twenty minutes?”

She nodded enthusiastically and Neil nodded, “Alright, I’ll see you then.”

His image vanished and she stared after it, her eyes finding her own in the mirror’s returned reflection. Then she saw she’d nearly pulled her dressing gown nearly open and she blushed again.

“What is wrong with me?” she exclaimed again.

When her reflection didn’t answer her, Camille sighed and finished her makeup quickly, then rushed for her wardrobe.

Twenty minutes later, dressed in a her customary silks, these in tones of green, Camille made her way into Zulg’s bar and looked around. A Ferengi server stopped by her instantly and she told him she needed a quiet, private booth and to charge it to Sporak, her manager.

The Ferengi instantly led her to a booth in the back which contained curtains and she told him to bring a glass of the private stock white wine and a double private stock bourbon for a Marine who would be going her.

The Ferengi hesitated, then nodded and brushed off. Camille checked the time and saw she was only a couple of minutes late. Looking out of the curtains, she wondered where Neil was when she caught site of him striding into the bar.

His gaze cast about and he caught site of her. He was dressed in black and green, with that beret and the form fitting uniform.

Not breaking his walk, but slowing so as to not run into people, Neil made his way over and slid into the booth across from her.

“Well hello, marine,” she said in her best sultry voice, a smile playing over her crimson lips.

Neil held a finger up to his own, lips and she looked at him with surprise as he pulled a palm sized device from his waistband and sat it in the middle of the table. “You ordered us drinks?,” he asked?

She nodded and he touched is lips again and they waited, looking at each other. The Ferengi waiter showed up a minute later and set the drinks on the table and then Neil shooed him off and closed the curtains. Then he touched the device he’d put not he table and it hummed and blipped. Then blipped three more times and then a light went green and the humming died.

Camille was looking at him when he looked up and he pulled his beret off and tucked it into his mission jacket. “Hush field generator. The Ferengi’s always bug these places. So now they get to listen to Klingon opera.”

“But, Sporak said they’d not do that if I told them he was my manager,” she protested weakly.

“Your Ferengi manager most likely would hear it himself first, in case he could sell the information,” Neil said dryly. “Next, one of them will come over and make sure things are all..”

He was cut off as the curtain whisked aside and the nervous server asked, “Is everything alright. Can I offer…”

Neil cut him off by grabbing an ear between two fingers and applying a bit of pressure, causing the Ferengi to twitch and cry out before Neil grabbed his lips with his other hand and said. “I know what you’re about, Twitch. Stick your nose back in here before the lady calls you again and I’ll rip both lobe and lip off and eat them.”

The marine’s tone was low and dangerous as he let go and the Ferengi stumbled back. “Your boss knows better to scrueddle with marines. If he doesn’t, I can see that a platoon shows up to remind him.”

The Ferengi backed away and then fled and Neil closed the curtains again.

“Was that necessary?” Cami asked, a bit taken back by his tone and the suggested violence.

Gesturing toward the hush field generator, Neil stated. “They know better. And a small reminder now will save them worse down the road.”

Camile’s painted lips quirked then, “Scrueddle?”

“I think it’s Vulcan for a sexual act,” he said, a smile tracing over his lips.

She blushed at that and said, “I didn’t think Vulcan’s talked like that?”

“Oh, they’re a filthy lot,” Neil smiled then and she laughed.

Then he sobered. “Look, Camille.” He saw her smile fall and he steeled himself. “I know I didn’t handle seeing you at the Captain’s party well. I apologize for that…but you have to have known I’d be a bit surprised.”

She took a drink from her glass and then held it cradled in both hands on the table. “I. I know that Neil and I’m sorry. I should have let you know what was going on…”

Neil listened to her as she trailed off and took his own glass. Taking another device from a pocket, he pointed it first at her glass then his and nodded, satisfied and returned it.

“Paranoid much,” Cammi said then, a bit petulant.

“Paranoid a lot, yeah Camille.” He acknowledged, “There’s an old saying that goes, Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get me. And these are, interesting times, as they say.”

She rolled her eyes at him and took another drink as he tasted his own. “Thanks for the bourbon, but back to what I was saying” he said. “Camille, these times are way too interesting. You shouldn’t be out here.”

“Oh stop it,” she said. “I’m a big girl and have been playing all over several sectors all of my life.” Her eyes blazed with fire and he regarded her for a moment, then pointedly looked her up and down. Slowly. “I noticed,” he replied.

“And stop that too!,” she said, blushing furiously, crossing her arms over her chest defensively once more.

“Not in my nature, Camille. And I’m not used to having a ship’s counselor chase me down and tell me you’ve asked her to find out if I like you. Of all people, you ask Lieutenant Ovaa. I’m not quite sure if she’s just odd or she was dropped on her head as an infant.”

Cami floundered a bit then, her mouth opening and closing as she tried to respond. “But, forget Sigmund Fraud, whom for some reason was apparently making eyes at me, and let’s look at this. As much as I would like to have a relationship of some kind. And I would like it with you , it just won’t work.”

Camille looked stricken then and tears started to well as she reached across for his hands and he let her, but he continued speaking before she could get the words out.

“Seriously, Cami. Get out of here. This place is …it feels like a war zone that won’t admit it to itself and I don’t want you hurt. I don’t have a place for you in my life right now. And with what you’ve displayed to me…”

She blushed again at that, tears running down her neck and her eyes puffing up a stray sob sounding as he continued.

“Besides that,” he said, trying not to smile. Then a smile broke through his composure and he reached up, wiping tears from her face briefly as he looked into her eyes.

“Go be safe. Please. But, don’t call me. I’ll call you Camille.”

She gripped his hand as he started to withdraw it and bitterly said, “Bastard. I practically throw myself at you and you tell me to go be safe? What the…the shit is that? I gave up a lot to come out here like some damned camp follower and you tell me this? You show off how tough you are on a Ferengi and try to tell me this is for my own good?”

She stared at him for a few beats, then spit out “Scruedel you and go to hell, Neil.”

His eyes went incredibly cold at that and he tore his hands away from hers, “What else do they say? It’s not me, it’s you? Well, you’d better believe it’s you Camille. Do what you need to get out of your contract. I really don’t want to see you again. I hope I made that plain and clear.”

He bit off each word, then sat the tumbler of bourbon down, picked up the hush field generator, which detached with a slight pop from the table and he slid from the booth, pulling out his beret and walking from the bar.

Cami, tears falling now shouted out, “Bastard!” and then yanked the curtains back in place.

She sobbed for a few minutes and wiped repeatedly at her eyes, randomly thankful for non-smear makeup. She began to calm down after she finished her wine. And then the abandoned glass of bourbon.

Finally, she was able to compose herself and get her sobbing under control. Enough to have a thought pop into her mind and she whispered out bitterly, “What the…Ovaa was making eyes at him. What does that mean…”

She thought about that for a moment then another half whispered, bitter words strayed past her pretty lips, “That Bitch!”

A Joint Post By

Camille Petrovich
Civilian, Empok Nor

First Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer


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